06 Jun How Bill Belichick created a culture of excellence with the Patriots
Regardless of your views on Bill Belichick and the Patriots, the mark they’ve on the NFL record books is indisputable. Few (if any) teams in modern sports history have been able to create a culture of excellence, sustained over more than a decade.
What’s the secret sauce? I interviewed former Patriots safety Sergio Brown on the Rad Awakenings podcast about what made the culture so unique:
What you see is what you get. It’s the best culture in football. He knows how to get his whole team and organization to believe that message. They’re students of the game, they don’t disrespect the process at all, regardless of how long they’ve been doing it. They take that same amount of time to dot their Is, cross their Ts, to really present the information to their players and use the personnel in the right way.
And sustaining this over a long period of time means fighting the natural complacency that comes with any success:
[People have the tendency] to get comfortable with their expertise and skip steps. Even small simple steps like when you’re watching film, like watching third down later in the day or I’m not going to watch second down with this team because we played them already. They stick to the plan, for real. You can only respect being the expert, yet continuing to go that extra mile.
This mindset doesn’t just apply to sports. In an interview with Own Your Content, creative polymath (and my spirit animal) Jocelyn Glei passionately discussed relentless perfectionism:
As for quality, an innate and relentless perfectionism seems to do the trick. I get extremely obsessed about every single detail of anything I make. For my book Unsubscribe, I wrote and self-edited all the content, but also hired the illustrator, collaborated with him, and designed the layout of the book. For my new podcast, Hurry Slowly, I curate all the interviews and write all the commentary, but I also worked with a composer to create an original theme song and collaborate with my producer on every single edit.
And while this may butt heads with the 80/20 rule, the love and passion put into products gets easily transmitted to the consumer:
I’m not saying this is entirely healthy, but it is — for better or worse — my process. I strongly believe that the amount of love and care you put into a project is always apparent. Even if people are not conscious of it, they can sense when you have paid attention to every little detail.“